How to Manage All. That. Artwork.

Yes, a home organizer lives here. Don't judge.

Yes, a home organizer lives here. Don't judge.

My kid loves to do art (so do I). She is also something of a hoarder. This of course makes me, the home organizer, cuckoo bananas. The artwork that she does at school, art class, and at home piles up and piles up. And then piles up some more. Which also, of course, makes me cuckoo bananas.

So, from time to time, I dictate institute an artwork purge session.

I start by hauling the ginormous pile off of her desk, which is where I have allowed it to grow/mandated that THAT be the collection site.

Note that I do this first pass alone. When she is out of the house. Completely unsuspecting. And can in no way stop me. Yes, I am evil.

Then, I make piles.

The piles (and a garbage can).

The piles (and a garbage can).

Pile #1: AKA, The Recycling Bin

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

I go through the pile and cull the papers full of scribbles (see Exhibit A), random stickers, and all those teeny tiny scraps that Montessori kids seem to bring home all the time. Those go straight into the bin. And the bin gets dumped into the curbside bin before she gets home. Because she is not above going through the household recycle bin on any given day. Woe betide me were she to find it on an playroom purge day.

 

Pile #2: The Gems

These are the gems she has created that I want to save FOREVER-AND-EVER (lest you think I'm some cruel mother who doesn't give a crap about her children and their misunderstood genius). My own mother started a tradition of saving special pieces of artwork in a file (see right). I still have it and love to look at it. I'm carrying on this tradition (see Exhibit B).

Exhibit B. Genius work on file.

Exhibit B. Genius work on file.

Self portrait, age 6. And those are Care Bears on the rainbows in case you were wondering.

Self portrait, age 6. And those are Care Bears on the rainbows in case you were wondering.

Pile #3: The Ambiguous Pile

This is the pile of items that I'm guessing mean something to her but don't make the Pile #2 cut. These are the worksheets from school, lesser artworks, the Valentine's cards from 2011, the birthday card I made for one of her stuffed animals, etc. I leave them in a pile for her to sort through, so she can feel like she is a part of this culling process and I'm not wholly The Dictator of the Household. I'm also hoping that it helps her get in the habit of going through her stuff and getting rid of the unnecessary from time to time. We do this final sort together and I *try* to be as hands-off about it as possible.

Post-sort, this pile sits around and basically becomes the foundation for the new collection site until the pile is once again so big it gives me a rash. Then, we repeat the above process, ad infinitum.

But for now, let us enjoy the beauty of a clear desk!

clean desk